PS Audio PWT software bugs


I purchased a PS Audio PWT about a year ago and have had some strange transport/software bugs since new.

If I put in a CD and then let it sit for more than about 10 minutes, the transport will refuse to play the disc when "play" is entered. The Icons on the front panel will change as if the disc is playing but no output. I am using the AES/EBU digital output to a Brystom BDA-1. The unit will freeze and I can "skip" to the next track but still no output. Often I cannot even eject the disk. I have to do a hard power shut down and cycle. After power up, it recognizes the disc and plays normally.

Same thing happens if I start a track, then stop it and go away for more than about ten minutes. When I try to resume the mode changes to icons showining "play" but no sound and the track will be frozen. Almost no response from any input after that.

When I contacted PS Audio (Marcus Iezzi), he replied in an email:
"There is a bug in the firmware that is causing this issue and our software team is working on fixing it."

Has anyone else had this problem and do you know if a firmware version has been released to fix the issue?
dhl93449
I have never had this problem with either of my PWTs, both of which are 4-5 years old now. I upgraded the firmware about 12 months ago.

Although PS Audio has had some firmware bugs in the past, I thought they only affected the usability of the Bridge, not the Transport or DAC. If you have a new unit, you should really get PS Audio to fix the problem, since it is under warranty and does not appear to be working properly.
I think latest PWT firmware is 1.22.

I'm not impress with PS Audio engineering staff. Firmware is buggie, unreliable and releases are NOT professional ... bunch of hacks. Paul should hire some of the Logitech SB staff.
Need to clarify my original post. Problem occurs if disc is playing and you "PLAY/pause" (not STOP) to hold your place in the track being played. This happens while I'm listening and the phone rings, for example. If its in pause for more than a few minutes, the player will lock up and when you try to resume nothing responds. No remote commands work and you have to do a hard power cycle to unlock the unit. Reminds me of a Windows 3.0 computer.

I just spoke with Marcus Iezzi (CS Manager PS Audio) and he tells me this is still not fixed. So you can't have a firmware version where this does not happen. Its a known PS Audio bug. What upsets me is they still have no fix and no date when it will be. NO mention of this behavior in the users manual or literature. If its such a minor issue, then publish it and see if buyers still buy this product. My $50 Sony DVD player can be left in pause indefinitely and will always recover.

IMHO releasing a product with this bug is inexcusable, as is refusing to fix it years after the product has been released.
NO mention of this behavior in the users manual or literature.
It's a BUG and NOT an expected feature so why documented in user manual?

IMHO releasing a product with this bug is inexcusable, as is refusing to fix it years after the product has been released.
I think they want to fix it but they need to find and then have a solution to the problem.

In general if they can reproduce it, any engineer SHOULD able to fix it. It's possible the bug is NOT high priority with only few complaints so will delay indefinitely.
Just yesterday I had to pause my PWT for a 10 min or so phone call and started the track back up from right where it stopped..
I purchased my PWT used locally about a year ago. I dont know what firmware it has but I have never had this big show up.

How do I look and see what firmware I have?
How do I look and see what firmware I have?
"First, turn
off the rear panel power switch. Wait for 10
seconds, turn the rear panel switch back on.
As soon as the touch screen displays the
“Initializing” screen, touch and hold the PS
logo in the middle of the initializing screen until
the version screen appears."

Jriggy, post your version so Dhl93449 can try.

FYI, always backup current firmware before updating to newer version so you can rollback if new bugs are introduced in newer version.
Knghifi:
Yes its a known bug and if PSA doesn't want to fix it, then the company (PSA) finds it acceptable by default. So why not mention it in a FAQ or the manual. According to Marcus the phenomena is repeatable but the actual delay causing the lockup is hardware (CDROM drive) dependent. Has something to do with limiting the time the drive spins in the pause mode, which may default to different times depending on the particular CDROM drive being used. I would doubt if just replacing firmware would fix this, as more extensive programming will probably be required.
BTW, my firmware version is 1.22.
Dhl, I have not had the problem you describe, but believe you when you say it has a bug. I guess my phone doesn't ring that much, and if it does, I just press stop rather than pause.

Overall, I like the PW DAC & Transport quite a lot, but agree that the company falls short when it comes to fixing software bugs. Just go to the PS Audio forum and read to your heart's delight about other issues people have had. I suspect the particular bug that is causing you problems is a very low priority for PS Audio. They seem to move on to their next big project before they tie up the loose ends of existing releases.
I`ve had my PWT for over 3 years and have not experienced this problem(maybe just lucky). I can say that in terms of sound quality it has been brilliant connected to my Yamamoto YDA-1 DAC. Utterly organic with much involvement and realism.
Regards,
Looks like this problem may be individual hardware dependent, although PS Audio tech support never suggested I return the unit so that they could swap drives and see if the problem persists. They just told me its a known issue and I have to live with it. Well, maybe I will and maybe I won't.

If you use the "stop" control the problem does not exist. But then you cannot go back to where you were when you were interrupted.

I have no quibble with the sound quality. But I recently acquired a Bryston BDP-1 and A/B'd the Bryston vs the PWT and I could not hear a difference. That was with a ripped .wav file using IMGburn and a Plextor drive, so the rip was not technically a perfect rip like you may get with dBpoweramp. I used the identical CD for both the rip and playback in the PWT. And when you pause the Bryston, you can replay without a hitch.

Although there is a bit of a learning curve to use the Bryston and you have to spend time ripping your music, sonically they are extremely close. If you are going to listen to single CDs, then you can rip a CD and put it on a USB drive in minutes and be listening almost as fast as loading the PWT. Plus, if you want to put together an afternoon of listening with three or four albums, the Bryston can do that easily and the PWT cannot.

Perhaps for some the sonic edge may go back to the PWT if you use the PS Audio DAC. I am using the Bryston BDA-1.
Dhl93449, dump your transport and build yourself a music server. Only tedious part is ripping your music but only ONCE. Always rip to lossless.
Knghifi:

Timely suggestion. Got a Bryston BDP-1 and ripped some CDs with dbpoweramp to FLAC. Loaded the file in the BDP-1 and the identical CD in the PWT. Compared to the two A/B both feeding my Bryston BDA-1 and was blown away by the FLAC ripped source. Absolutely amazing, even compared to the extremely good sound of the PWT. Not ever going back to real time CD replay, even in a memory player. Bit perfect lossless ripping really makes a difference. Burst ripping via Win MP to wav sounded about the same as the PWT.

BUT, you have to be a network administrator and part time software geek to get the Bryston functioning from anything but the useless front panel. And their manuals are so out of date it is not funny with respect to the browser/software that works for control. Had to spend for a wireless laptop PC for control (lot cheaper than any tablet), router, ethernet cables. Luckily Bryston tech support is exemplary and getting things working is a matter of time.

And now I can PAUSE a track and come back, it plays!
WARNING: The PS Audio PWT Memory Player has serious bugs in the logic. Mine malfunctioned brand new out of the box with all sorts of weird behavior like freezing up so it doesn't respond to the remote or manual input if you leave a CD sitting in it for any significant length of time. It doesn't matter if it's on Stop or Pause, and it even freezes up if you just put a CD in and don't push any buttons. Come back an hour later and it won't do anything unless you cycle the power. Mine also spooled the CD when turned off (on Standby)!

The service department was not at all accommodating or helpful. They didn't offer to pay shipping back to the factory despite the obviously defective unit out of the box. They did not answer email in a timely fashion - I eventually had to contact the President of the company to get a wholly inadequate and unsatisfying response. When they sent it back they kept the SD card so I had to chase after that, too.

The last straw was when they told me that they have no timeline for a fix of the logic bugs in this unit. That is inexcusable for a $4000 transport. Shame on PS Audio! I will never buy another of their products.
I had a similar problem very recetnly - mine malfunctioned brand new out of the box with all sorts of weird behavior like freezing up so it doesn't respond to the remote or manual input if you leave a CD sitting in it for any significant length of time whether it's on Stop or Pause. It even freezes up if you insert a CD push no buttons. Come back an hour later and it won't do anything unless you cycle the power. Mine also noisily spooled the CD endlessly when turned off (on Standby)!

The service department was not at all accommodating or helpful. They didn't offer to pay shipping back to the factory despite the obviously defective unit out of the box. They did not answer email in a timely fashion - I eventually had to contact the President of the company to get a wholly inadequate and unsatisfying response. When they sent it back they kept the SD card so I had to chase after that, too.

The last straw was when they told me that they have no timeline for a fix of the logic bugs in this unit. That is inexcusable for a $4000 transport with known defects. Shame on PS Audio! I will never buy another of their products.